Wisdom is taking measures to avoid getting hotter than in 450 million years. ASAP. (I have long brandished ominously that possibility, not just to frighten the Bourgeois, and poke them out of their jet-setter life style, but because there was a solid scientific reasoning behind it. Now, it turns out that the scientific community is starting to realize that there is something to my threats… More details in future essays.)

Wouldn’t that be nice for those who promote ignorance, if wisdom had nothing to do with knowledge?

It is often said that Socrates would have been told by the Delphi Oracle that he was the wisest, because he knew nothing. Actually, that statement, stricto sensu, is an invention. Socrates was not that dumb. Don’t let soporific plutocracy descriptions of Socrates lead you astray!

What Socrates actually said was that, in some particular cases, he was wiser than someone else, because, on that particular matter, he knew enough to know he did not know, whereas his opponent thought he knew, when he shouldn’t have had that feeling (Diogenes and Cicero later made a caricature of Socrates’ fully appropriate considerations, this is where the “error” comes from; I suspect said “error“was perpetuated, and is now repeated ad nauseam, because the erroneous statement that ultimate wisdom is to be as knowledgeable as a barnacle, promoted idiocy thereafter, a help to abusers; in particular, plutocrats).

If all we know is that we don’t know, we, indeed know just enough to know we don’t know: a good beginning to feel motivated by the spirit of inquiry. The assertion attributed to Socrates is just plain stupid, as it identifies wisdom with ignorance. Much of Socrates’ thinking consists into low quality running around in circles adjudication of thoughts, being decisive about nothing much… But not so blatantly!

Verily, wisdom is knowledge. Wisdom is a web of knowledge. Real knowledge, namely relating what’s not obvious to an ant, or a dog. Not knowledge consisting in cataloguing the appearance and location of grains of sand on a beach. So wisdom is knowledge tempered by value.

t There is more knowledge to gather in the sand on a beach than we, or anything, can ever know. But that kind of knowledge is not wisdom, but its opposite.

True, any knowledge comes with a context. Any logic comes with a “universe”. To know something, to know a logic, is to know that context, that universe. One should not be so stupid as believing that whatever one knows has universal value. If one jumps naked through a ten story window, one will die from the fall, at least, on Earth. If one jumps through a window on the asteroid Ceres, and then one will die from trying to breathe in a vacuum, blood boiling.

I will give examples in science and climate. The latter with an eye to policy. I have long advocated that, for climate, catastrophic calculus, computing only with the worst possible cases, was the path to wisdom. Indeed, we now know that, for three out of the five known mass extinctions, the process involved was exactly the same as now the unfolding catastrophe known as the Anthropocene we are contributing to: a CO2 exponentiation, a blow-up of CO2 (propelled, literally, by volcanic activity).

Wisdom then? A carbon tax!

Wisdom is a tax!

Wisdom can be simple. Wisdom can be just a tax!

Patrice Ayme’


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8 Responses to “WISDOM IS KNOWLEDGE Tempered By Value”

  1. Gmax Says:

    Agreed with carbon tax. Could you please explain furthet how you are vastly superior in your definition of wisdom to SEP You linked to?

  2. Paul Handover Says:

    Recommend listening to the recent TED Talk given by Ted Halstead: A climate solution where all sides can win

    Seems to be a fine example of applied wisdom!

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Thanks for finding this, Paul!
      That’s basically my plan, advertized here for MANY years. Some of the linguo is different. This Ted guy claims he invented it by himself, with “Republicans”. Silly.

      Moreover, one needs more than one country to do so: Sweden long had a carbon tax, and Europe has a partial carbon tax (on fuel, massive fuel taxes)…

      All sides don’t want all sides to win. The essence of plutocracy is that some win, and PREY on others.
      This is exactly why the carbon tax was not implemented.
      There are lots of partial solutions to the Anthropocene devastation unfolding out there. Lots of partial killer apps.

      Of course the carbon tax will have to be GRADUALLY RISING, because, if it was where it should be, the world economy would seize.

      What the speaker is speaking about is Quantitative Easing for the people, propelled by a carbon tax.

      One still needs to help the poor who needs cheap energy.

      “Borders Adjustments”??? That’s what I call a WORLDWIDE CARBON TAX. It’s OK with the WTO.

      … The talk of Gore next is excellent…

  3. Rich Reinhofer Says:

    “promoted idiocy thereafter, a help to abusers; in particular, plutocrats).”

    A+ Patrice.

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